Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 184, Issue 2, pp 159–169 | Cite as

Differentiation of the chick embryo floor plate

  • C. M. Griffith
  • E. J. Sanders
Article
  • 30 Downloads

Summary

In a number of species, the floor plate of the developing neural tube and spinal cord has been ascribed specialized functions associated with the patterning of neuronal differentiation. The differentiation of the floor plate itself is believed to be closely related to the presence of the underlying notochord. Grafting experiments have previously shown that in the chick embryo an implanted segment of notochord is capable of inducing the adjacent host neural plate or neural tube to produce an additional floor plate, although the inductive effect diminishes with increasing age of the host. We have examined the potential of notochord to promote the appearance of floor plate-like structures from neural tube tissue in culture. To facilitate this, it was necessary initially to examine the immunoreactivity of the early neural tube and floor plate in situ and in vitro with a panel of antibodies to identify a suitable marker for floor plate differentiation in vitro. In situ, the differentiation of the floor plate was characterized by a lack of immunoperoxidase staining with antibody to neurofilaments and the monoclonal antibody HNK-1 throughout the period examined. This distinguished the floor plate from other regions of the neural tube, and was in contrast to its conspicuous affinity for antibodies to N-CAM and highly sialylated N-CAM, which also stained several closely adjacent regions of the neural tube over the period examined. We also found that oligodendrocytes occurred both in the floor plate and in the flanking ventral neural tube, and that astrocytes were too poorly represented throughout the neural tube at the stages examined to be useful markers of floor plate differentiation. We therefore concluded that only the anti-neurofilament and the HNK-1 antibodies were potentially useful markers for floor plate differentiation. When these antibodies were tested on cells in culture, neural tube tissue showed the presence of neurofilament and HNK-1-positive neurites, while floor plate cultures showed few of these. These distributions were consistent with those demonstrated in situ. However, cells staining positively for N-CAM, sialylated N-CAM and the glial cell markers were relatively sparse in floor plate cultures, suggesting that these epitopes were not retained or were masked in cultured cells. As a result of these experiments, we selected the absence of neurofilament-positive cells as a marker for floor plate differentiation in culture. Co-culture of pieces of neural tube from 3-day embryos with notochord segments resulted in the suppression of neurofilament-positive neurite outgrowth from the former, and the consequent production of tissue with floor plate-like characteristics. The absence of neurites was most marked on the side of the neural tube tissue that was apposed to the notochord. Co-culture of neural tube with other tissues did not produce this effect. We suggest that the neurite suppression by notochord in vitro is analogous to its activity in situ, and that neural tubes from 3-day embryos are still competent to respond to notochordal tissue.

Key words

Chick embryo Floor plate Neural tube Notochord 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Altman J, Bayer SA (1984) The development of the rat spinal cord. Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol 85:1–166Google Scholar
  2. Bagnall KM, Sanders EJ (1989) The binding pattern of peanut lectin associated with sclerotome migration and the formation of the vertebral axis in the chick embryo. Anat Embryol 180:505–513Google Scholar
  3. Bignami A, Dahl D (1974) Astrocyte specific protein and neuroglial differentiation: an immunofluorescence study with antibodies to the glial fibrillary acidic protein. J Comp Neurol 153:27–38Google Scholar
  4. Bignami A, Dahl D (1977) Specificity of the glial fibrillary acidic protein for astroglia. J Histochem Cytochem 25:466–469Google Scholar
  5. Boulder Committee (1970) Embryonic vertebrate central nervous system: revised terminology. Anat Rec 166:257–262Google Scholar
  6. Bovolenta P, Dodd J (1990) Guidance of commissural growth cones at the floor plate in embryonic rat spinal cord. Development 109:435–447Google Scholar
  7. Bovolenta P, Jessell TM, Dodd J (1988) Disruption of commissural axon guidance in the absence of midline floor plate. Abstr Soc Neurosci 14:271Google Scholar
  8. Dodd J, Jessell TM (1988) Axon guidance and the patterning of neuronal projections in vertebrates. Science 242:692–699Google Scholar
  9. Edgar D, Timpl R, Thoenen H (1984) The heparin-binding domain of laminin is responsible for its effects on neurite outgrowth and neuronal survival. EMBO J 3:1463–1468Google Scholar
  10. Edgar D, Timpl R, Thoenen H (1988) Structural requirements for the simulation of neurite outgrowth by two variants of laminin and their inhibition by antibodies. J Cell Biol 106:1299–1306Google Scholar
  11. Griffith CM, Wiley MJ (1990) Sialoconjugates and tail bud development. Development 108:479–489Google Scholar
  12. Griffith CM, Wiley MJ (1991) Effects of retinoic acid on chick tail bud development. Teratology 43:217–224Google Scholar
  13. Grüneberg H (1963) Disorders of the notochord. In: The pathology of development. A study of inherited skeletal disorders in animals. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 113–133Google Scholar
  14. Jessell TM, Bovolenta P, Placzek M, Tessier-Lavigne M, Dodd J (1989) Polarity and patterning in the neural tube: the origin and function of the floor plate. In: Cellular basis of morphogenesis (Ciba Foundation Symposium), Wiley, Chichester, pp 255–280Google Scholar
  15. Keane RW, Lipsich LA, Brugge JS (1984) Differentiation and transformation of neural plate cells. Dev Biol 103:38–52Google Scholar
  16. Manthorpe M, Engvall E, Ruoslahti E, Longo FM, Davis GE, Varon S (1983) Laminin promotes neuritic regeneration from cultured peripheral and central neurons. J Cell Biol 97:1882–1890Google Scholar
  17. Oettinger HF, Thal G, Sasse J, Holtzer H, Pacifici M (1985) Immunological analysis of chick notochord and cartilage matrix development with antisera to cartilage matrix molecules. Dev Biol 109:63–71Google Scholar
  18. Placzek M, Tessier-Lavigne M, Jessel T, Dodd J (1990a) Orientation of commissural axons in vitro in response to a floor plate-derived chemoattractant. Development 110:19–30Google Scholar
  19. Placzek M, Tessier-Lavigne M, Yamada T, Jessel T, Dodd J (1990b) Mesodermal control of mesodermal cell identity: floor plate induction by the notochord. Science 250:985–988Google Scholar
  20. Raff MC, Mirsky R, Fields KL, Lisak RP, Dorfman SH, Silberberg DH, Gregson NA, Leibowitz S, Kennedy MC (1978) Galactocerebroside is a specific cell-surface antigenic marker for oligodendrocytes in culture. Nature 274:813–816Google Scholar
  21. Rogers SL, Letourneau PC, Palm SL, McCarthy J, Furcht LT (1983) Neurite extension by peripheral and central nervous system neurons in response to substratum-bound fibronectin and laminin. Dev Biol 98:212–220Google Scholar
  22. Schoenwolf GC, Bortier H, Vakaet L (1989) Fate mapping the avian neural plate with quail-chick chimeras: origin of prospective median wedge cells. J Exp Zool 249:271–278Google Scholar
  23. Schoenwolf GC, Smith JL (1990) Mechanisms of neurulation: traditional viewpoint and recent advances. Development 109:243–270Google Scholar
  24. Smith JL, Schoenwolf GC (1989) Notochordal induction of cell wedging in the chick neural plate and its role in neural tube formation. J Exp Zool 250:49–62Google Scholar
  25. Snow DM, Lemmon V, Carrino DA, Caplan AI, Silver J (1990a) Sulphated proteoglycans in astroglial barriers inhibit neurite outgrowth in vitro. Exp Neurol 109:111–130Google Scholar
  26. Snow DM, Steindler DA, Silver J (1990b) Molecular and cellular characterization of the glial roof plate of the spinal cord and optic tectum: a possible role for a proteoglycan in the development of an axon barrier. Dev Biol 138:359–376Google Scholar
  27. van Straaten HWM, Hekking JWM, Thors F, Wiertz ELJM, Drukker J (1985) Induction of an additional floor plate in the neural tube. Acta Morphol Neerl Scand 23:91–97Google Scholar
  28. van Straaten HWM, Hekking JWM, Wiertz-Hoessels EJLM, Thors F, Drukker J (1988) Effect of the notochord on the differentiation of a floow plate area in the neural tube of the chick embryo. Anat Embryol 177:317–324Google Scholar
  29. Tessier-Lavigne M, Placzek M, Lumsden AGS, Dodd J, Jessell TM (1988) Chemotropic guidance of developing axons in the mammalian central nervous system. Nature 336:775–778Google Scholar
  30. Theiler K (1959) Anatomy and development of the ‘truncate’ (boneless) mutation in the mouse. Am J Anat 104:319–343Google Scholar
  31. Tosney KW, Oakley RA (1990) The perinotochordal mesenchyme acts as a barrier to axon advance in the chick embryo: implications for a general mechanism of axonal guidance. Exp Neurol 109:75–89Google Scholar
  32. Wagner M, Thaller C, Jessel T, Eichele G (1990) Polarizing activity and retinoid synthesis in the floor plate of the neural tube. Nature 345:819–822Google Scholar
  33. Watterson RL (1965) Structure and mitotic behavior of the early neural tube. In: DeHaan RL, Ursprung H (eds) Organogenesis. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, pp 129–159Google Scholar
  34. Zar JH (1984) Biostatistical Analysis, 2nd edn. Prentice-Hall, New JerseyGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Griffith
    • 1
  • E. J. Sanders
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

Personalised recommendations